Seeing Double? Chinese Sportswear Logo Nearly identical to Under Armour

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 2 May, 2016

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words . . .

Uncle_Martian_and_Under_Armour.png

Last week, a new Chinese sportswear brand by the name of Uncle Martian launched its Weibo account debuting its logo and we’ll just state the obvious here — that logo looks very familiar.

Who’s behind this blatant rip-off of US-based Under Armour, Inc.? Uncle Martian is a new brand launched by a Chinese sports shoe manufacturer, Tingfei Long Sporting Goods Co. (廷飞龙体育用品有限公司).

The New York Times reports that a Tingfei Long executive said recently that the brand was going to be associated with “comfort, excellence and innovation” and aims to be a “high-profile” brand with “high standards.”

Under Armour is a known brand in China. The company’s hometown newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, reports that Under Armour sold $80 million worth of merchandise in China last year and expects that number to climb to $150 million this year.

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SPOILER ALERT!  How the Trademark Applications Broke Upcoming Star Wars Plot Twists — Oops!

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 28 April, 2016

Beware, ‘Star Wars’ fans, possible spoilers ahead …

Recent Lucasfilm Ltd. trademark applications might provide a hint to the parentage of the character “Rey,” who made her debut as the heroine in ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.’

TMZ broke the story that Lucasfilm filed trademark applications in early April for the name “Jyn Erso” for toys, Christmas merchandise, clothing, footwear, headwear, and paper products.

Who’s Jyn Erso? Turns out that the character of Jyn had just been introduced one day prior to the trademark application filings in the trailer for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (the ‘Star Wars’ prequel scheduled for release in December 2016).

‘Star Wars’ fans set the internet on fire with theories that Jyn and Rey resemble each other — both in looks and accent. So is she Rey’s mother or does she just happen to be a leading character in the upcoming prequel?

The actress Daisy Ridley, who plays the character Rey, pooh-poohed the speculation about Jyn being her mother. Ridley told MTV: “I’m not being funny you guys, but just because she’s white and got brown hair… it doesn’t mean she’s my mom.”

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Topics: trademarks

Using Local Translations for Infringement: The Absurd Case of Louis Vuitton Fried Chicken

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 27 April, 2016

Can you imagine the unlikely scenario of running across a fried chicken restaurant in South Korea using the name “LOUISVUI TON DAK”?

As if the poaching of the luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton name wasn’t blatant enough, the restaurant’s logo on napkins and take-out boxes featured the same colors and interlocking letters as the LVs used by the French fashion house.

What’s the connection between the two businesses? Nothing, except that “tondak” means “whole chicken” in Korean.

So it’s not surprising that last September, Louis Vuitton sent a cease-and-desist letter to the restaurant owner to prohibit him from using its name. The Seoul Central District Court followed with a ruling that banned the owner from using the name and logo, so what did he do? He changed the restaurant’s name to “chaLOUISVUI TONDAK.”

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Topics: trademark

New gTLD Update: News About .GAME and .VIP Launch Dates,  and More

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 25 April, 2016

This week’s edition includes updates from ICM Registry, news about the .GAME and .VIP launch dates, information about .TUBE, .STREAM, and more.

.XXX, .PORN, .SEX and .ADULT – “Fill in the gaps” pricing promotion

ICM Registry announced that all newly created domains (one-year creates) under its TLDs .XXX, .PORN, .SEX, and .ADULT will be available for registration at a reduced rate until May 31, 2016.

This may be of interest to those clients who bought a name under .PORN, .ADULT, or .SEX, and did not get all of their names or derivatives of their brands. It is a cost-effective way to ensure brand consistency under the .XXX, .PORN, .SEX, and .ADULT TLDs.

.TUBE

Latin American Telecom LLC announced the launch schedule for its new gTLD .TUBE as follows:

Sunrise Opens

Sunrise Closes

Sunrise Type

General Availability

21-Apr-2016

(14:00 UTC)

20-Jun-2016

(15:00 UTC)

End Date Sunrise
(Not first-come, first-served)

07-Jul-2016

(14:00 UTC)

During the Sunrise Phase, trademark rights holders may register their domain names provided the term applied for is in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), with multiple applications for the same domain resulting in an auction via Sedo. The registry will assist clients with securing those domains classified as reserved during Sunrise. Proxy services are not permitted during the Sunrise Phase.

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Topics: nGTLDs

When Democracy is Bad for Branding: The Strange Case of Boaty McBoatface

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 22 April, 2016

Coming up with creative new names — for brands, babies, and even ships — can be quite challenging these days. The growth of the Internet and social media has made participation in naming contests extremely easy, which means anyone can wage a campaign to take names into . . . uncharted waters.

And that’s what happened in the UK recently. The Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) asked for help in finding a name for a Royal Research ship via its website and Twitter account. The plea resulted in 7,000 names floated, with more than 124,000 votes cast for the smile-inducing name of “Boaty McBoatface.”

Despite an overwhelming victory in online votes, it turns out the UK’s Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson thinks that “Boaty McBoatface” is “not suitable.” Johnson says that the poll is only one factor that will be used in choosing a name. The Guardian reports that Johnson said, “. . . we want a name that lasts longer than a social media news cycle and reflects the serious nature of the science it will be doing.” It turns out that Johnson isn’t “the decider.” That honor falls to NERC Chief Executive Duncan Wingham, who, at a minimum, should be excited about all of the free publicity his organization has gotten recently.

This story has gotten a boatload of media attention, although disappointingly, the headlines didn’t get any more creative than this one from NPR: “UK Science Minister Torpedoes 'Boaty McBoatface' As Ship Name.” The Times came out in support of letting the majority rule for the Boaty name, reminding readers: “This is the age of stolen elections . . .” In the US, the Chicago Tribune wrote an editorial about the kerfuffle, pointing out that the British government had asked for the people’s opinion and by ignoring the public’s choice, it chose to “belittle its supporters.” The newspaper declared: “Science doesn’t need to be so serious.”

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Topics: branding

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